In order to define "Fetal Death" we first have to define "fetus." In general a "fetus" is defined as "An animal in the later stage of development before birth." In humans
- The fetal stage is the from the end of the third month (after the 8th week) until birth.
A Basic Definition:
The death of a fetus, after the 8th week until birth.
A Formal Definition:
Death before the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy; the death is indicated by the fact that after such separation, the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.
Baker C. Glossary in Your Genes, Your Choices: Exploring the Issues Raised by Genetic Research. Washington, DC: AAAS. Directorate for Education and Human Resources. Available at: http://ehrweb.aaas.org/PDF/yourgenes.pdf
World Health Organization. 1999. Fetal Death. Glossary of Terms. Reproductive health in refugee situations: An inter-agency field manual p. 132. Glossary At: http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/publications/interagency_manual_on_RH_in_refugee_situations/a3.pdf
National Center for Health Statistics. 2004. Data Definition. Fetal Death. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/nchsdefs/fetaldeath.htm